July 14 (UPI) — A U.S. special forces soldier was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense said Sunday.
Sgt. Maj. James “Ryan” Sartor, 40, was killed Saturday in Faryab Province, Afghanistan, due to injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire, the department said in a statement.
The Teague, Texas, native was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colo., and was in Afghanistan as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel when he was killed.
The incident is under investigation, the statement said.
“We are incredibly saddened to learn of Sgt. Maj. James ‘Ryan’ Sartor’s passing in Afghanistan,” The 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) said in a statement on Facebook. “Ryan was a beloved warrior who epitomized the quiet professional. He led his soldiers from the front and his presence will be terribly missed.”
Sartor was first deployed to Iraq in 2002 as an infantryman but was then deployed as a Green Beret in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. He was also deployed to Afghanistan in 2017 and 2019, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said in a statement.
He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star medals.
Sartor’s death comes two weeks after two U.S. servicemen were killed in Uruzgan Province by small arms during combat.
More than 2,400 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since the United State invaded the country in 2001.